To Miss -- by Samuel Johnson (1709-1984)

On Her Playing Upon The Harpsichord
In A Room Hung With Flower Pieces Of Her Own Painting

When Stella strikes the tuneful string,

In scenes of imitated spring,

Where beauty lavishes her pow'rs

On beds of never-fading flow'rs,

And pleasure propagates around

Each charm of modulated sound;

Ah! think not, in the dang'rous hour,

The nymph fictitious as the flow'r;

But shun, rash youth, the gay alcove,

Nor tempt the snares of wily love.

When charms thus press on ev'ry sense,

What thought of flight, or of defence?

Deceitful hope, and vain desire,

For ever flutter o'er her lyre,

Delighting, as the youth draws nigh,

To point the glances of her eye,

And forming, with unerring art,

New chains to hold the captive heart.

But on those regions of delight

Might truth intrude with daring flight,

Could Stella, sprightly, fair, and young,

One moment hear the moral song,

Instruction, with her flowers, might spring,

And wisdom warble from her string.

Mark, when from thousand mingled dies

Thou seest one pleasing form arise,

How active light, and thoughtful shade

In greater scenes each other aid;

Mark, when the different notes agree

In friendly contrariety,

How passion's well-accorded strife

Gives all the harmony of life;

Thy pictures shall thy conduct frame,

Consistent still, though not the same;

Thy musick teach the nobler art,

To tune the regulated heart.